Miami Heat 'is where the heart is' for Dwyane Wade

All-Star guard confirms he is cornerstone of franchise, re-signing less than a week after superstar LeBron James left to return to Cleveland

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 10:27pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 10:27pm


Dwyane Wade is staying with the Miami Heat, and his latest deal is designed to give both the player and the only franchise he has ever known some flexibility in the coming years.

Wade's new contract is a two-year deal, the second of those seasons a player option, said a person familiar with the situation. Neither side have yet announced terms.

"I am proud to have spent every single day of my career as a member of the Miami Heat and to have brought three championship titles to this great city," Wade said.

Dwyane has been the franchise cornerstone for this team since the day he arrived 11 years ago
Pat Riley

"I've been here through the good times and the hard times. I have confidence in the Miami Heat organisation and the team they are building."

Earlier, Wade tweeted "Home Is Where The Heart Is ... My Home, My City, My House" and attached a photo of himself standing below the three NBA championship banners that hang at Miami's home arena.

It is expected Wade's salary for next season will not reach the US$20.2 million he would have made under his previous deal.

Heat president Pat Riley confirmed that Wade again bought into the Heat mantra of sacrifice. The contract he signed four years ago left millions on the bargaining-room table, in part to make the deals with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem happen.

"Dwyane has been the franchise cornerstone for this team since the day he arrived 11 years ago," Riley said. "He has shown his commitment to the Heat many times over the course of his career and has always been willing to sacrifice in order to help build this team into champions. This time is no different."

Wade's return was expected, yet still represents a huge win for Miami during free agency - especially since it comes less than a week after James left the Heat after four seasons and returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

So now, what was the "Big 3" is a "Big 2". Bosh is in the process of finishing a US$118 million, five-year contract with Miami.

Also this week, the Heat signed Luol Deng to a two-year, US$20 million deal, which was agreed to over the weekend.

"Luol Deng is one of the most important free-agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise," Riley said.

"He is a proven All-Star and quintessential team player, both as a scorer, as well as an All-NBA defender. He brings the attitude of a warrior and competes every single night against the best."

Miami also announced the signing of small forward James Ennis, who has been one of the team's summer-league standouts this year. Ennis was the 50th pick in last year's draft and spent last season playing in Australia.

Wade is entering his 12th Heat season and is the franchise's all-time leader in games, points, assists and steals. He and Haslem, who is also expected to complete a new two-year contract with Miami in the coming days, are the only players to appear on all three of the Heat teams who won NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and last year.